Use of causal chain for an institutional analysis of water resources management in a semiarid reservoir in Paraíba

ABSTRACT The Epitacio Pessoa Reservoir is the second largest water reserve in the State of Paraíba. It has been used for urban water supply, irrigation and fishing activities. In the last 15 years, this reservoir has faced two episodes of great depletion of its storage volume due to the occurrence of extreme drought events and problems in its management. An evaluation of Epitacio Pessoa Reservoir was performed under the institutional aspect of water resources management in three periods representing the high climatic variability in the region (dry and rainy periods) in which the reservoir is located. The definition of the proposed methodology of this study describes the diagnostic of water resources management and the use of the Causal Chain Analysis (ACC) methodology. The study considered technical, political-managerial and socio-economic-cultural causes. The research concludes that the lack of definition of strategies, which could be capable of minimizing eventual risks of reservoir be collapsed, occurred due to the weak performance of the entities on exercising their functions in a coordinated, articulated and integrated way. The results show there is a trend of the problem be worsened.